Banned Book Readouts - Albany

NYCLU Celebrates Freedom to Read with Banned Book Events in Schenectady, Albany and Troy

The Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union will celebrate our constitutional right to read what we want with events in Albany, Schenectady and Troy during National Banned Books Week at the end of September. Three “Read Outs” will feature regional notables—actors, writers, politicians, poets, and activists of all types—reading from their favorite books that have, at one time or another, been banned or challenged in the United States.

The schedule of this year’s events:

•  Troy, Market Block Books, 290 River Street, Friday, September 25 at 7 pm.

•  Schenectady Public Library, Central Branch, 99 Clinton Street, Sunday, September 27 at 2 pm.

•  Albany Public Library, Main Branch, 161 Washington Avenue, Wednesday, September 30 at 6 pm.

This year, Banned Book Week focuses particularly on young adult books, which are among the most frequently challenged items in public libraries and schools. Six of the 10 most challenged books currently are young adult titles.

Melanie Trimble, Director of the NYCLU Capital Region Chapter, said, “We urge everybody who loves books to come out to these events. Freedom to read is as important for young people as it is for adults. Books allow kids to safely confront difficult issues that they may ultimately face in the real world. Banning books from libraries and schools doesn’t protect children; ignorance isn’t a successful coping mechanism.”

Light snacks will be provided at the events.

The current list of the most banned and challenged books in the U.S. includes: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris, Saga by Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard, and Drama by Raina Telgemeier.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982. Since then, more than 11,300 individual titles have been challenged in this country. And, given that most banning attempts do not get widely reported, the American Library Association estimates that this number represents no more than a quarter of the real number of attempts to suppress books.

Many of America’s greatest novels have been the most consistently challenged works, among them: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple, Ulysses, Invisible Man, The Call of the Wild, Native Son, Rabbit, Run and An American Tragedy.

National sponsors of Banned Books Week are the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Association of College Stores, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, National Coalition against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN American Center, People for the American Way Foundation, Project Censored. Banned Books Week is also endorsed by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.